Slideshow: The Real Cost of Home Improvement

By Ben Steverman - 2012-11-26T19:03:24Z

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Deck or Porch

Average cost: $8,148

Single people are about a third less likely to add or replace their decks and porches compared with married couples. Almost a third of respondents add or upgrade their decks and porches by themselves, with the project costing $700 more than average in the West and $700 less than average in the South. A wood deck retains 70 percent of its value, while a more expensive composite deck recoups 63 percent. A deck's life span can vary widely, but should last about 20 years under ideal conditions.